Thursday, April 16, 2015

"Normalizing" relations with Iran and Cuba more about the "will to"

While polls show that most Americans just want to get it all over with and achieve some kind of normalized relations with Iran and Cuba, there are of course those who simply want to play partisan politics by using bad relations with the two countries as scarecrows to inflame a certain minority of voters (some of whom have no idea why). With the White House approving a nuclear deal with Iran and removing Cuba from the state-sponsored terrorist list, it seems finally that mistakes that have poisoned relations with these countries for at least 60 years are being set aside. Iran will continue to be a difficult matter, since “normalization” will not occur until the “supreme beings” who are actually in charge there make a 180-degree about-face and start saying “nice” things about the United States; 35 years of brainwashing Iranians about the “Great Satan” cannot be washed away at the flick of a switch.

A group of Republican deadbeats with nothing else to do have already sent a threatening “open letter” to Iran’s leaders, asserting that the proposed deal would be “dead on arrival” if the party regained the White House in 2016. Nobody should ever accuse the Republicans of forethought or vision, particularly when they are blinded by hatred for Barack Obama (which no one should mistake as being anything but raw meat for the racist element of its constituency). Fortunately, this threat can only strengthen the hand of the moderate element of the Iranian regime for acceptance of the proposed deal in Iran, since its passage there is far from certain, given opposition to it by the radical element. If Iran was smart, it would approve the deal sooner rather than later; by January, 2017 the deal would essentially be a fait accompli—particularly if Iran actually abides by its conditions.

As for Cuba, the continuing opposition to normalizing relations seems hypocritical, given the fact we have “normal” relations with China, Russia and other former enemies that can hardly be called paragons of freedom; toward Cuba, the U.S. has been acting like the cowardly playground bully who picks on the little guy. Current opposition seems to be knee-jerk in nature, as if Cuba is the disinherited black sheep of the “family.” It is time for the older class of Cuban-Americans—hardly paragons of virtue themselves, given the oppressive Batista regime that once supported their privileged “freedom” against the impoverished masses—to end being an affront against common sense, or be ignored as an anachronism of the Cold War. They are part of the problem, not the solution.

It is interesting to note that none of the Obama administration’s apparent diplomatic triumphs—if we can call them that—occurred during the regime of Hillary Clinton, who can count exactly zero on her State Department resume. One suspects—given her closeness with political reactionaries like Benjamin Netanyahu—that she was more an obstacle than a facilitator of major policy initiatives, and was primarily focused on her own private agenda. Why did she feel she needed to keep a tight fist on her email communications by keeping them on personal server? Given her easily excited personal enmity, one can imagine what the deleted missives revealed. 

At any rate, Clinton only has the Benghazi disaster as the most memorable “accomplishment” of her tenure at State, and no doubt now that she has announced her intention to run for president again, there can hardly be doubt that this incongruity between then and now will be brought to the forefront.

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